Borderstan is covering the October 19 special election to fill the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B’s vacant seat in Single Member District 1B02 (SMD). Today’s interview is with Stanley Mayes, who is one of two candidates seeking the 1B02 seat. The other candidate is Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling and her profile appeared yesterday.
The special election will be held on Wednesday, October 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Thurgood Marshall Center at 1816 12th Street NW. Voters must either present their voter ID card indicating that they live within 1B02 boundaries and/or be listed on the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics voter registration list. The seat has been vacant since Commissioner Aaron Spencer resigned because he was moving out of the SMD.
ANC 1B has 11 commissioners and covers a large geographic area. ANC 1B02 is in the heart of the U Street neighborhood and this district runs along U Street from 14th Street east to 9th Street, and from S Street on the south to as far north as Florida Avenue NW in some places. The size of the SMD will be reduced during the redistricting process currently underway due to heavy population growth.
ANC commissioners are elected from SMDs in the city’s 37 ANCs. While the number of commissioners in each ANC varies, each SMD has approximately 2,000 residents.
Borderstan: Please provide your name, age and a brief biography, including number of years residing in DC and your ANC district.
Mayes: Born in Washington, DC, in 1950, is a product of DC Public Schools and received a B. B. A. from Howard University, 1973. Mayes earned a M. A. in Public Policy Analysis from Rutgers University in 1979 and his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law – Newark. He is a former executive with Mergentine/Perini General Contractors from 1981-1989, building Metro’s Green Line under U Street. In 1990, Mayes established The Mayes Group, a real estate investment business. Mr. Mayes’ professional experience includes banking and law. Presently, he consults on real estate and small business development, and is also the co-owner of Divine Shine, a leather care business on T Street that has been honored as “The Best New Business in Shaw” by the Shaw Main Streets Program.
Mayes is a third term elected Representative to the DC Democratic State Committee, from Ward One. He has served as Chairman of the United Planning Organization (UPO); Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B and the 14Th & U Streets Coalition. Mayes is currently President of the Urban Forest Council of Washington, D.C. and Chairman of the 3rd District Police Citizen Advisory Council. Mr. Mayes and his wife, Geraldine (Gerri), are proud parents of their daughters, Leslie and Evan and son, Justin.
Borderstan: How – and how often – would you reach out to constituents, both residential and business?
Mayes: My present plan is to host a bimonthly townhall meeting with distribution of invitations sent via door-to-door, electronic mail and social media. The importance of face-time cannot be overemphasized as in our fast paced lifestyles we as neighbors rarely come together to meet each other, discuss our views pro or con and increase our understanding of the vibrant and changing community in which we live and do business. I will visit businesses and establish an email account devoted to the business community for their needs and concerns.
Borderstan: What do you see as the most important three functions of an ANC commissioner, in order of priority?
Mayes: (1) Listening for issues in our community. (2) Communicating these matters to the residents and businesses. (3) Coordinating responses that effectively address issues as they arise.
Borderstan: What is your vision for the 14th & U corridor?
Mayes: In the past, I led the revitalization of the U street corridor from riot scarred to renewal. Not the challenge is to coordinate the changes in this community so that it has a balance between the needs of our diverse residents and their quality of life needs, the services they desire and continuing to advocate for a business community that presently is helping through tax revenues, to power city services in Ward one and city wide.